Winter Fun at MoMA PS1
One of my favorite afternoon art adventures is to head over to MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, because it's easy to get to, because the building itself is cool, because it's never too crowded (except during the summer dance party Warm Up!, but that's appropriate), because the M. Wells "cafeteria" is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, and, of course, because the art is usually, at a minimum, unlike anything else you see in our other museums. MoMA PS1 is not an overwhelming space, either, so you can easily get through the entire place in a couple of hours. Anyway, I went to PS1 over the weekend, and, as always, had a great time checking out all of the new-to-me exhibitions (that's another thing I like about it; there's no real permanent collection on display, so the entire space is refreshed a few times a year).
First Floor Fun: Zero Tolerance and The Flat Side of the Knife
PS1's first floor is dominated by the provocative Zero Tolerance group show (through April 13), a collection of videos and other pieces by artists confronting the increasing, worldwide crackdown on personal freedom and expression, usually in the name of "security", but often really just an excuse for more control and/or profits. Many of these works are just engaging and enlightening in and of themselves (for example, I loved Halil Altindere's short film starring Turkish rappers angry over demolition in their rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood), but it's also interesting to me just how widespread–and similar/familiar–these issues are. Also on the first floor is Samara Golden's amazing, MC Escher-esque installation The Flat Side of the Knife (through September 7), which is like an infinite, loop-de-loop staircase inside an impossible house.
Second Floor Exhibits: Art Amnesty and Cabaret Crusades
The second floor of MoMA PS1 features Bob and Roberta Smith's cheeky (but with a grain of truth) Art Amnesty (through March 23), in which they invite all artists to turn in their pieces for destruction, and to promise never to make art again. You can throw your stuff in one of the dumpsters out front, or bring it upstairs and have it hung in one of the galleries until the exhibition's over and everything is tossed. Or just create something on site! Either way, this is a blast to walk around and see everyone's contribution. Finally, make sure you check out the beautiful/grotesque marionettes that are part of Egyptian artist Wael Shawky's multi-media installation, Cabaret Crusades (through August 31).
For More Information on MoMA PS1
MoMA PS1 is located at Jackson and 46th Avenues in Long Island City, a couple of blocks from the G, E, M, and 7 trains, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. The M. Wells Dinette is open at the same times. Lots more information about everything can be found here.